Mont Sainte-Victoire, near Aix-en-Provence, France
During an exploration of Cezanne’s beloved Mont Sainte-Victoire, this dish made the day. After driving steep and curvy roads up and down the mountain and a little bit of hiking, there could not have been a more perfect setting or a more satisfying and flavour-loaded meal. Exclusively local ingredients, freshly prepared and served on a terrace overlooking the hills ….. Heavenly.
Rabbit with chestnut foam and roasted butternut squash
- Pre-heat oven to 380F.
- Season rabbit meat with salt and pepper. Sear in olive oil in a heavy, oven proof pan, browning it all over. Transfer pan to oven at 380F and cook for 1 h or until tender. The meat is cooked when firm to the touch or metal pin inserted comes out hot. Remove pan from oven and let the meat rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- In a separate pan, in the same oven at the same time, roast ½ butternut squash cut side down for 45 minutes or until soft. Scoop out soft squash and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg. Puree. Add 1 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 tbsp. butter, 2 tbsp. heavy cream. Whisk briefly and set aside covered to keep warm.
- While rabbit and squash are cooking, sauté the onion in butter or olive oil, add chestnuts, cream, broth, salt and pepper and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve; catch the juice in a tall mug, pressing down gently on the chestnuts with the back of a spoon. Set aside.
- Sautee mushrooms in melted butter until golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
- Heat up chestnut cream and foam it with an immersion blender or frother.
- Arrange rabbit pieces on warm plates. Place mushrooms along the sides. Drizzle chestnut foam on top and on sides. Place dots of squash purée around the meat. Use piping bag if desired. Garnish with a sprig of fresh watercress or preferred fresh herb. Serve extra squash on the side.
- Then close your eyes while tasting and dream of Southern France.
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp cream
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg
- 5 cooked chestnuts
- ½ small onion diced
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 rabbit cut in serving pieces
- 200g chanterelles or button mushrooms